How to Get Scratches Out of Glasses: 7 Myths and What Actually Works
November 7, 2023 • 8:24 AM
If you’ve ever damaged the lenses of your prescription glasses, you’ll know how much it affects your ability to see clearly. It also doesn’t look great, especially if you’re going for a professional or stylish appearance.
You might be tempted to try to fix the damage yourself — and you’ll certainly find plenty of suggestions online for how to get scratches out of glasses. But it’s rarely a good idea.
Read on to learn some commonly recommended DIY hacks for fixing scratched lenses. We’ll debunk those myths and then share the real best way to fix your glasses. You’ll also learn how to protect them from scuffs and scrapes in the first place, so you never have to deal with a scratched pair of glasses again.
How to Get Scratches Out of Glasses: The Myths
While lenses used to be made of glass, most lenses these days are made of plastic. Plastic lenses are lighter and safer for you if they break, but they’re also more prone to scratches. If you search “how to get scratches out of glasses,” you’ll find a plethora of home remedies that supposedly work magic on your glasses’ scratches.
To be clear, we don’t recommend these methods because they can potentially cause more scratch damage, worsen the appearance of scratches, or wear away lens coatings like anti-glare protection or blue light filters.
That said, it’s worth knowing what they are so you can avoid them.
Scratch Remover Myth 1: Using Baking Soda
For this method, baking soda is mixed with water to form a thick paste, then rubbed in a circular motion over the scratched area of your eyeglass lenses. If you manage to keep going long enough to make an impact, you might be able to make small scratches less visible but you’ll also wear down your lens coating.
Scratch Remover Myth 2: Using Toothpaste
This method uses toothpaste instead of baking soda, but the principle of how to get scratches out of glasses is the same. Note that whitening and gel toothpaste are especially damaging to lenses, so if you do decide to risk it, at least opt for normal, non-gel toothpaste.
Scratch Remover Myth 3: Using Metal Polish
Some sources suggest polishing your glasses with silver, brass, or other types of metal polishes to both clean them and remove scratches. However, this is not a good idea. Metal polishes are designed for solid metal and can damage your glass or plastic lenses as well as your frames.
Scratch Remover Myth 4: Using Glass Etching Cream
Glass etching cream contains corrosive hydrofluoric acid. This dissolves lens coatings, so if you only have minor scratches in the coating, it could theoretically work to remove those scratches. Unfortunately, if you leave the cream on for more than a few minutes, you’ll completely lose that coating you’ve probably paid extra for.
Scratch Remover Myth 5: Using Furniture Polish or Car Wax
The theory here is that buffing your scratched lenses with car or furniture wax fills in any deep scratches. It may accomplish this, but wax isn’t known for its flawless transparency, so you might end up highlighting the scratches even more. Plus, you still won’t be able to see clearly through the layer of wax on your glasses.
Scratch Remover Myth 6: Using Sunscreen
Typically recommended as a scratch remover for sunglasses, this idea may have come about because sunscreen is often close at hand when you’re wearing your sunnies. The reality is that sunscreen can wear away anti-reflective mirror coatings, so even if you manage to fix any minor scratches, you may well find yourself dealing with a whole lot of extra glare. Added to that, it may also strip away any UV protection, leaving your eyes vulnerable to sun damage.
Scratch Remover Myth 7: Using Sandpaper
It’s hard to believe, but this method is often recommended by sources who claim to know how to get scratches out of glasses. The idea here is to sandpaper the lens down until you’ve removed the scratch and then try to buff it back to a shine. This will not only strip your coatings but also possibly affect your prescription.
Again, we do not recommend any of these home remedies. In fact, even an optician can’t fix scratched lenses.
Here’s the real low-down on how to get scratches out of glasses.
How to Get Scratches Out of Glasses: The Truth
The reality is that the only solution for scratched lenses is to replace the lenses or get a new pair of glasses. New lenses will restore your vision, without the distraction of scratches for you or anyone looking at you.
Think of it as an opportunity to update your accessories — and possibly your prescription too. If it’s been a while since your last eye test, it’s worth visiting your optometrist at the same time.
If you choose your new specs well, you could even give your style factor a huge boost. For example, you could treat yourself to a gorgeous new look from Pair Eyewear. We offer a range of beautifully designed Base Frames for prescription and non-prescription glasses. Add a couple of Top Frames you love, and you can mix and match, depending on your mood and your outfit.
How to Reduce the Chances of Scratched Glasses Lenses
Once you’ve received your new glasses, it’s important to look after them. That way you won’t have to pay another visit to your eye doctor anytime soon or figure out how to get scratches out of glasses.
Invest in Scratch-Resistant Coating
If your specs do take a tumble, scratch-resistant lenses are less likely to get badly damaged. Many glasses retailers charge extra for this protective coating, but at Pair, it comes standard with every pair of glasses and sunglasses. Plus, our lenses are made of polycarbonate, a type of plastic lens that’s especially impact-resistant.
Clean Your Eyeglasses Regularly
Learn how to clean your glasses correctly and do it often. If you leave them too long, the build-up of grime on the lenses may result in scratches when you do eventually clean them. Note that trying to clean streaks or smudges by rubbing your lenses with your clothes can also cause scratches, even if your clothes are made of soft cloth. Rather use a proper Glasses Cleaning Kit or a gentle, lotion-free dish soap plus a microfiber or other specifically-designed cloth.
Treat Your Eyeglasses With Care
Handle your glasses carefully when you put them on or take them off. If you put them down for a while, do it gently. Make sure they don’t bump into anything on the way down and leave them resting on the frames, not the lenses.
Store Your Specs Properly
When you’re not wearing them, don’t leave your glasses lying around or throw them into your purse. Store them safely by placing them straight into a glasses case. Hard cases work well, as do Pair Glasses Cases — which come with extra space to keep two Top Frames for a quick change during the day.
Extend the Life of Your Eyeglasses
Many modern glasses are easily scratched, which can affect both your vision and your appearance. There are many methods recommended for how to get scratches out of glasses, but DIY fixes like using toothpaste, baking soda, metal, or furniture polish can do more harm than good. They might well remove the scratches, but they may also further damage your lenses or remove any anti-glare, UV, or blue-light coatings.
Once your glasses lenses are scratched, it’s best to either replace the lenses or invest in a new pair of glasses with scratch-resistant coating. As a bonus, you can upgrade your style at the same time. A great way to do this is by picking Pair Eyewear for your eyeglasses needs. Our selection of styles and vast range of Top Frames offers something for everyone, and at great prices too.
Once you have your new pair, clean them correctly, treat them gently, and store them safely, so they can help you see well — and look great — for a long time.